On this day, 50 years ago, the world lost one of the most iconic faces in history, Marilyn Monroe. Her lifestyle and fame had bursted into the media making her one of the most recognized heroines of her time. The mark she left on the world has influenced many talented people and artists such as legendary pop artist Andy Warhol. Warhol had used Monroe’s status to help channel his profound reflection on “the state of consumer society” to the world. His artistic commentary on Monroe’s life and fame exemplifies this through his work “A Shot of Marilyn Monroe“. The repetition of her face symbolized the mass produced imagery of commercial messages. It also demonstrated how desensitized the consumer society becomes after viewing the same image over and over, no matter how significant or important the subject matter was. Andy Warhol’s work not only contradicted the way people idolized the star, but it also raised awareness on how disconnected consumers can be with a product.
As designers, what does this teach us 50 years later? In a world flooded with millions of designs, it should teach us to become more aware of what we are creating and to be conscious of the public eye. It should inspire us to always be alert of today’s groundbreaking designs and observe what makes them so successful. We should constantly ask ourselves how to design with innovation and significance in order to avoid being another “desensitized” product to the consumer society. Approach designs from new and unexplored angles for unforgettable outcomes. Create a connection between your designs and viewer. Avoid being another product on the market and change the way viewers see the design world.